Former Australia allrounder Shane Lee reckons that India players look tensed when playing under Virat Kohli whereas they appear relaxed when Ajinkya Rahane is the captain. Rahane led India to a 2-1 Test series win in Australia in the absence of Kohli who returned home following the conclusion of the opening contest in Adelaide for the birth of his first child.

Rahane has led India five times in Test cricket and is yet to taste defeat. The way he led the tourists in Australia, a team that was depleted due to injuries to its several first-choice players, marshalling an almost second-string side against what is arguably the best pace attack in the world currently, has drawn widespread praise.

There are murmurs of him being appointed full-time Test captain with the likes of Bishan Singh Bedi even comparing Rahane to the former India skipper Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.

Lee, who played 45 ODIs for Australia, said that Rahane ticked all the boxes as skipper during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. “You look at Rahane, as a captain, mate he is 10 out of 10 in this series. He’s been fantastic and he’s led that Indian team really well,” Lee said on the Afternoon Sport podcast.

“Look, I would have him (Rahane) as captain,” he added. “Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen of all time. But I just feel that he is almost revered by the players within the team. They’re almost scare to put a foot out of line. He demanded absolute professionalism from the Indian team. The players had to be fit, they had to great in field and good catching, but they almost appear a bit scared. I just see a really relaxed team under Rahane.”

Lee said had he been the India selector, Rahane would be the captain and Kohli would instead be flourishing as a batsman. “Will Kohli give up the captaincy? I doubt it. If I was an Indian selector, and I’m not, but if I was, I would have Rahane captain the team and instead let Kohli go and do all his batting. And I think the team would function a lot better. But time would tell,” the 47-year-old said.

Kohli will be back to lead India in the upcoming four-match Test series against England at home starting February 5.